Another little break from all things Oldhammer, today I’d like to share some Old School dungeoneering instead. Some time ago I made my mind up to develop a card driven system for solo/GM-less dungeon bashing. What I came up with was a system of cards, one pack to describe rooms and corridors, one pack to drive events and another to drive encounters. Treasure to be added later.
Each room or corridor section explored triggers the draw of a dungeon card. This gives an interesting description of the area and any contents. It also goes on to indicate if something more is happening as an event, encounter or both could be triggered by the room card.
Adventure cards are only drawn when a dungeon card indicates to do so. They contain descriptions of random events such as traps, weird sightings, sounds and smells, dungeon furniture, loot and plunder or NPC encounters. They may even trigger further monster encounters.
Monster cards are triggered by either Dungeon or Adventure cards each card representing a random number of monsters of a given level.
A little on the design philosophy.
By removing events from the rooms they occur in a greater variety of rooms can occur, not every guard room will now look the same and thanks to the monster cards the guards you find there will vary as much as your monster cards. I really wanted to include the heady unpredictability of old school dungeons so some event cards include random tables making the variety of adventures obtainable even greater.
Some of the cards interact for example a randomly encountered sound may be more meaningful later on if a particular room is reached when certain things will occur only if the sound has been heard. Or perhaps an NPC will be very interested in items found or encounters experiences already or in the future. I have included enough challenges of different sorts to ensure thieves, magicians, fighters and clerics will all be useful if not necessary in your adventure party. Currently the cards exist as a system agnostic version and a Labyrinth Lord/Osric/ADnD version with illustrations pulled off the web. If there is enough interest from people I’ll clean them up put on good legal Illustrations on and post them here for all to use.